Effective Management Uses the Nature of the System’s Environment

The system model reflects management thinking and strategy. The plan must match the reality of the system’s environment to be effective. The work of Ralph D Stacey and Dave Snowden (Cynefin framework) helps to set the general expectation of what is necessary. A rough description includes three categories to consider. For this narrow scope, we can collapse their categorization of environments to three.

Healthcare delivery exists in an environment of biological and social complexity. The social complexity is important because of important human characteristics.

  • Humans are intelligent agents that make decisions based on patterns

  • Humans create and support multiple identities

  • Humans ascribe intentionality and cause where none necessarily exist

  • Humans have learned how to structure their social interactions to create order

Complex environments like healthcare cannot be managed efficiently and effectively with strategies needing a predictable and ordered environment. 



† Snoden, David J “Multi-ontology sense making, Management Today Yearbook 2005

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